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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE

International Standards for


Tuberculosis Care

Developed by the Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance (TBCTA)

TBCTA Partners:
American Thoracic Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US)
Family Health International
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union)
Japanese Antituberculosis Association
KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation
Management Sciences for Health
World Health Organization

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Additional support provided by the


Stop TB Partnership

Development coordinated by the


American Thoracic Society

Disclaimer:
Disclaimer: The information provided in this document is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.
Suggested Citation:
Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance. Handbook for Using the International
Standards for Tuberculosis Care. Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance. The
Hague, 2007.
Contact Information:

Cover photo: Dr. L.S. Chauhan,


NTP Manager, India, releasing
balloons at the World TB Day
celebration, India Gate, New
Delhi, March 24, 2007.

Philip C. Hopewell, MD
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Email: phopewell@medsfgh.ucsf.edu

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Purpose and Development of the ISTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Purpose of the Handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Making Use of the ISTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Initial Steps in Using the ISTC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Seeking and Obtaining Local Endorsements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Using the ISTC to Mobilize Professional Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Using the ISTC for Feasibility Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Quality and Performance Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
ISTC as an Advocacy Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Engaging Patients and Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Training on the ISTC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
ISTC-based Training Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Country Examples of Training Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Approaches to Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Certification for Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Early Experiences with Utilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Kenya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Tanzania. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Mexico. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
India. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Indonesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgments
The International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) was developed by the Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance and funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Additional support was provided by the Stop TB Partnership Advocacy, Communications,
and Social Mobilization Working Group, Sub Group on ACSM at the Country Level.
Guidance for using the ISTC is based largely on experience gained in five countries: India,
Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and Tanzania. Directors of the national tuberculosis programs
in these countries, together with private sector collaborators, agreed to use the ISTC to
address particular situations or problems encountered in their countries and to document
their experiences. Perhaps the most important lesson learned from the pilot countries is
that there is no substitute for in-country experience. We are very appreciative of our collaborators and would like to acknowledge their contributions.
India
Dr Lakbir Singh Chauhan
Dr R.V. Asokan
Indonesia
Dr Carmelia Basri
Prof Hadiarto Mangunnegoro
Dr Erlina Burhan
Dr Prianti
Dr Jemfy Naswil
Dr Jan Voskens
Prof Anwar Yusuf
Kenya
Dr Jeremiah Chakaya
Dr Joseph Sitienei
Mexico
Dr Martin Castellanos
Dra Luca lvarez
Tanzania
Dr Saidi Egwaga
Dr Maulidi Fataki

We would also like to acknowledge the national tuberculosis programs of the pilot countries, the professional societies involved, and the World Health Organization.
The Handbook was written by Elizabeth Fair, PhD, MPH and Philip Hopewell, MD, with
substantial input from our country collaborators.
Development of the document was coordinated by Fran DuMelle, American Thoracic
Society.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

List of Abbreviations
ATS

American Thoracic Society

CME

Continuing Medical Education

DOT

Directly Observed Treatment

DOTS

The internationally recommended tuberculosis control strategy

GFATM

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

IMA

Indian Medical Association

IMPACT

Indian Medical Professional Associations Coalition against Tuberculosis

ISTC

International Standards for Tuberculosis Care

KAPTLD

Kenya Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases

MDG

Millennium Development Goals

MDR-TB

Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis

MUCHS

Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (Tanzania)

NGO

Nongovernmental Organization

NTP

National Tuberculosis Program

PPM DOTS Public-Private Mix DOTS


RNTCP

Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (India)

TB

Tuberculosis

TBTCA

Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance

TB/HIV

Tuberculosis combined with HIV infection

USAID

United States Agency for International Development

WHO

World Health Organization

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ABBREVIATIONS

International Standards for


Tuberculosis Care (ISTC)
Standards for Diagnosis
Standard 1. All persons with otherwise unexplained productive cough lasting 23
weeks should be evaluated for TB.
Standard 2. All patients (adults, adolescents and children who are capable of producing sputum) suspected of having pulmonary TB should have at least two,
and preferably three, sputum specimens obtained for microscopic examination. When possible, at least one early-morning specimen should be obtained.
Standard 3. For all patients (adults, adolescents and children) suspected of having extrapulmonary TB, appropriate specimens from the suspected sites of involvement should be obtained for microscopy and, where facilities and resources are available, for culture and histopathological examination.
Standard 4. All persons with chest radiographic findings suggestive of TB should have
sputum specimens submitted for microbiological examination.
Standard 5. The diagnosis of sputum smear-negative pulmonary TB should be based
on the following criteria: at least three negative sputum smears (including
at least one early-morning specimen); chest radiography findings consistent with TB; and lack of response to a trial of broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. (Since fluoroquinolones are active against M. tuberculosis
complex, and thus may cause transient improvement in persons with TB,
they should be avoided). For such patients, if facilities are available, sputum cultures should be obtained. In persons with known or suspected HIV
infection, the diagnostic evaluation should be expedited.
Standard 6. The diagnosis of intrathoracic (i.e., pulmonary, pleural, and mediastinal or
hilar lymph node) TB in symptomatic children with negative sputum smears
should be based on the finding of chest radiographic abnormalities consistent with TB and either a history of exposure to an infectious case or evidence of TB infection (positive tuberculin skin test or interferon gamma release assay). For such patients, if facilities for culture are available, sputum
specimens should be obtained (by expectoration, gastric washings, or induced sputum) for culture.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Standards for Treatment


Standard 7. Any practitioner treating a patient for TB is assuming an important public
health responsibility. To fulfill this responsibility, the practitioner must not
only prescribe an appropriate regimen, but also be capable of assessing
the adherence of the patient to the regimen and addressing poor adherence when it occurs. By so doing, the provider will be able to ensure adherence to the regimen until treatment is completed.
Standard 8. All patients (including those with HIV infection) who have not been treated
previously should receive an internationally accepted first-line treatment
regimen using drugs of known bioavailability. The initial phase should consist of two months of isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol.
The preferred continuation phase consists of isoniazid and rifampicin given
for four months. Isoniazid and ethambutol given for six months is an alternative continuation-phase regimen that may be used when adherence
cannot be assessed, but it is associated with a higher rate of failure and
relapse, especially in patients with HIV infection. The doses of anti-TB
drugs used should conform to international recommendations. Fixed-dose
combinations of two (isoniazid and rifampicin), three (isoniazid, rifampicin
(or rifampin) and pyrazinamide), and four (isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol) drugs are highly recommended, especially when
medication ingestion is not observed.
Standard 9. To foster and assess adherence, a patient-centered approach to administration of drug treatment, based on the patients needs and mutual respect
between the patient and the provider, should be developed for all patients.
Supervision and support should be sex sensitive and age specific and
should draw on the full range of recommended interventions and available
support services, including patient counseling and education. A central element of the patient-centered strategy is the use of measures to assess
and promote adherence to the treatment regimen and to address poor adherence when it occurs. These measures should be tailored to the individual patients circumstances and be mutually acceptable to the patient and
the provider. Such measures may include direct observation of medication
ingestion (DOT) by a treatment supporter who is acceptable and accountable to the patient and to the health system.
Standard 10. All patients should be monitored for response to therapy, best judged in
patients with pulmonary TB by follow-up sputum microscopy (two specimens) at least at the time of completion of the initial phase of treatment
(two months), at five months and at the end of treatment. Patients who
have positive smears during the fifth month of treatment should be considered as treatment failures and have therapy modified appropriately (see
standards 14 and 15). In patients with extrapulmonary TB and in children,
the response to treatment is best assessed clinically. Follow-up radiographic examinations are usually unnecessary and may be misleading.

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INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Standard 11. A written record of all medications given, bacteriological response and
adverse reactions should be maintained for all patients.
Standard 12. In areas with a high prevalence of HIV infection in the general population
and where TB and HIV infection are likely to co-exist, HIV counseling and
testing are indicated for all TB patients as part of their routine management. In areas with lower prevalence rates of HIV, HIV counseling and testing are indicated for TB patients with symptoms and/or signs of HIV-related conditions and in TB patients having a history suggestive of high risk of
HIV exposure.
Standard 13. All patients with TB and HIV infection should be evaluated to determine if
antiretroviral therapy is indicated during the course of treatment for TB. Appropriate arrangements for access to antiretroviral drugs should be made
for patients who meet indications for treatment. Given the complexity of
co-administration of anti-TB treatment and antiretroviral therapy, consultation with a physician who is expert in this area is recommended before initiation of concurrent treatment for tuberculosis and HIV infection, regardless of which disease appeared first. However, initiation of treatment for TB
should not be delayed. Patients with TB and HIV infection should also receive cotrimoxazole as prophylaxis for other infections.
Standard 14. An assessment of the likelihood of drug resistance, based on history of prior treatment, exposure to a possible source case having drug-resistant organisms, and the community prevalence of drug resistance should be obtained for all patients. Patients who fail treatment and chronic cases should
always be assessed for possible drug resistance. For patients in whom drug
resistance is considered to be likely, culture and drug susceptibility testing
for isoniazid, rifampicin and ethambutol should be performed promptly.
Standard 15. Patients with TB caused by drug-resistant (especially MDR) organisms
should be treated with specialized regimens containing second-line antiTB drugs. At least four drugs to which the organisms are known or presumed to be susceptible should be used, and treatment should be given
for 18 months. Patient-centered measures are required to ensure adherence. Consultation with a provider experienced in treatment of patients
with MDR-TB should be obtained.

Standards for Public Health Responsibilities


Standard 16. All providers of care for patients with TB should ensure that persons (especially children aged <5 yrs and persons with HIV infection) who are in close
contact with patients who have infectious TB are evaluated and managed
in line with international recommendations. Children aged <5 yrs and persons with HIV infection who have been in contact with an infectious case
should be evaluated for both latent infection with M. tuberculosis and for
active TB.
Standard 17. All providers must report both new and retreatment TB cases and their
treatment outcomes to local public health authorities, in conformance with
applicable legal requirements and policies.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Training of private
providers
organized by the
IMA in Kerala, India

Purpose and Development of


the ISTC
The ISTC has been
endorsed by more
than 40 national
and international
organizations, both
public and private,
concerned with
tuberculosis care
and control.

The International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) presents a set of widely-accepted, evidence-based standards that all practitioners, public and private, should seek to
achieve. Because the purpose of the ISTC is to describe a widely accepted level of care
that all practitioners should seek to achieve in managing all patients, the audience for the
document is all healthcare practitioners, public and private. The scope of the ISTC is diagnosis, treatment, and public health responsibilities and it is intended to complement,
not replace, local, national, and international guidelines.
A high standard of care is essential to restore the health of individuals with tuberculosis,
to prevent the disease in their families and others with whom they come into contact, and
to protect the health of communities.1 Substandard care will result in poor patient outcomes, continued infectiousness with transmission of M. tuberculosis to family and other
community members, and generation and propagation of drug resistance.
It is widely recognized that many providers are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of
tuberculosis.2-5 Traditional healers, general and specialist physicians, nurses, clinical officers, academic physicians, unlicensed practitioners, physicians in private practice, practitioners of alternative medicine, and community organizations, among others, all play
roles in tuberculosis care. In addition, public providers not working in tuberculosis control
programs, such as those working in prisons, army hospitals, or public hospitals and facilities, regularly evaluate persons suspected of having tuberculosis and treat patients
who have the disease.
Little is known about the adequacy of care delivered by non-program providers, but evidence from studies conducted in many different parts of the world show great variability
in the quality of tuberculosis care, and poor quality care continues to plague global tuberculosis control efforts.1 A global situation assessment conducted by WHO suggested that
delays in diagnosis were common.4 The delay was more often in receiving a diagnosis

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PURPOSE & DEVELOPMENT OF THE ISTC

The ISTC presents


a set of widelyaccepted,
evidence-based
standards that
all practitioners,
public and
private, should
seek to achieve.
A high standard of
care is essential to
restore the health of
individuals with
tuberculosis, to
prevent the disease
in their families and
others with whom
they come into
contact, and to
protect the health of
communities.

rather than in seeking care, although both elements are important.6 This survey and other
studies also show that clinicians, in particular those who work in the private healthcare
sector, often deviate from standard, internationally recommended, tuberculosis management practices.3,4 These deviations include under-utilization of sputum microscopy for diagnosis, generally associated with over-reliance on radiography, use of non-recommended drug regimens with incorrect combinations of drugs and mistakes in both drug dosage
and duration of treatment, and failure to supervise and assure adherence to treatment.3,4,7-13
Anecdotal evidence also suggests over-reliance on poorly validated or inappropriate diagnostic tests such as serologic assays, often in preference to conventional bacteriological
evaluations.
Together, these findings highlight flaws in healthcare practices that lead to substandard
tuberculosis care for populations that are most vulnerable to the disease and are least
able to bear the consequences of such systemic failures. Any person anywhere in the
world who is unable to access quality health care should be considered vulnerable to tuberculosis and its consequences.1 Likewise, any community with no or inadequate access to appropriate diagnostic and treatment services for tuberculosis is a vulnerable
community.1
The adequacy of care for patients with tuberculosis is the major determinant of the effectiveness of tuberculosis control: control cannot be adequate if care is not adequate. For
this reason, as well as because of concern for the welfare of individual patients, all tuberculosis control programs should be committed to ensuring that tuberculosis services in their
jurisdictions are of the highest possible quality within the limits of local circumstances.
New tuberculosis guidelines, recommendations, and manuals are frequently produced,
yet few if any of these focus on tuberculosis care rather than tuberculosis control and on
the essential interactions between care and control. In addition, none of the existing documents is supported by a broad international consensus, and most present the imperative steps to be followed for tuberculosis control and do not present the supporting evidence base for these steps. Additionally, quite commonly, guidelines developed by
tuberculosis control programs, even with private sector involvement, are viewed as government documents, and therefore, not relevant to practitioners in the private sector. Finally, no other document to date specifically focuses on a global effort to improve tuberculosis care and control through effective private sector involvement.
To provide new recommendations to meet these needs, a steering committee, consisting
of 28 members from 14 different countries, developed the ISTC. Members of the steering
committee were selected to provide perspectives from a variety of fields and sectors rather than to represent specific organizations. Standards for tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and the public health responsibilities inherent in tuberculosis care were drafted, and
the scientific evidence for each standard was reviewed. Where evidence was lacking, new
systematic reviews (six in total) were conducted. After extensive review by the Tuberculosis Coalition for Technical Assistance (TBCTA) organizations and substantial input by individuals, the ISTC and The Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care (the Charter) were finalized in December 2005 and launched on World TB Day 2006.
Subsequently, the ISTC has been endorsed by more than 40 national and international
organizations, both public and private, concerned with tuberculosis care and control. A
list of endorsing organizations is available on the ISTC website (www.istcweb.org). It is
planned that the ISTC will be a living document that will be periodically updated as the
need arises.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Dr. V. Ombeka,
Deputy Head of
NLTP at Riruta
Health Center,
Nairobi, Kenya

Purpose of the Handbook


The purpose of this
Handbook is to
present suggestions
and guidance,
based mainly on
country-level
experiences, for
using the ISTC as a
tool to foster and
guide the delivery of
high quality care by
all practitioners
providing
tuberculosis
services.

The purpose of the Handbook for Using the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care
(the Handbook) is to present suggestions and guidance, based mainly on country-level
experiences, for using the ISTC as a tool to foster and guide the delivery of high-quality
care by all practitioners providing tuberculosis services. The ISTC is potentially a very
powerful tool to improve the quality of tuberculosis care. The Handbook describes ways
in which the ISTC may be used to achieve this purpose. It should be emphasized that
what is presented in this Handbook does not represent all of the possible ways in which
the ISTC could be used. We encourage all persons involved with the provision of tuberculosis services to familiarize themselves with the ISTC and to think about ways in which
it could be used in their setting or to address particular problems they encounter.
An important intent of the ISTC is to unify approaches to diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in the private and public sectors. Thus, the Handbook should be viewed as a
companion to the WHO publication Engaging All Health Care Providers in TB Control14
that presents a comprehensive approach to developing publicprivate partnerships for
delivery of tuberculosis care. Among other things, the Handbook presents ways in which
the ISTC can be used as a vehicle for developing these partnerships. In a larger context,
both the Handbook and the WHO publication are the major implements to accomplish the
fourth element in WHOs Global Strategy to Stop TB (Table 1). The Stop TB Strategy is
available online15 and was published in The Lancet.16

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PURPOSE OF THE HANDBOOK

TABL E 1 .

Pursue High-Quality DOTS Expansion and Enhancement

2
3
4
5
6

Global Strategy to Stop TB

Political commitment with increased and sustained financing

Case detection through quality-assured bacteriology

Standardized treatment with supervision and patient support

An effective drug supply and management system

Monitoring and evaluation system, and impact measurement

Address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and Other Challenges

Implement collaborative TB/HIV activities

Prevent and control multidrug-resistant TB

Address prisoners, refugees and other high-risk groups and special situations

Contribute to Health System Strengthening

Actively participate in efforts to improve system-wide policy, human resources, financing


management, service delivery, and information systems

Share innovations that strengthen systems, including the Practical Approach to Long Health (PAL)

Adapt innovations from other fields

Engage All Care Providers

Public-Public, and Public-Private Mix (PPM) approaches

International Standards for TB Care (ISTC)

Empower People with TB, and Communities

Advocacy, communication and social mobilization

Community participation in TB care

Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care

Enable and Promote Research

Programme-based operational research

Research to develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines

Another important companion document for the ISTC that is touched on in the Handbook
is The Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care (the Charter) (available at www.istcweb.
org) that defines patients rights and responsibilities globally. The Charter was developed
in tandem with the ISTC, and the ISTC provides medical/technical support for the Charter. As can be seen in Table 1, the Charter also provides an element of the Global Strategy to Stop TB, in the fifth component, Empower People with TB, and Communities.

10

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

left: Initial ISTC


stakeholder
meeting,
Nairobi, Kenya
right: World TB Day
celebration, New
Delhi, India, 2007

Making Use of the ISTC

Because of the way


in which the ISTC
was developed and
the international
endorsement it has
received, the
document is
broadly credible
across categories
of practitioners. This
credibility is a major
strength of the ISTC
and should be
capitalized upon in
its utilization.

The ISTC describes the essential elements of tuberculosis care that should be available
everywhere and presents the scientific evidence and rationale that are the underpinnings
of these elements. As such, it is not a strategy that can be implemented, but rather requires that strategies be developed and implemented to enable the standards to be met.
Given the rigorous process by which the ISTC was developed and its broad endorsement, the standards it contains are not to be modified. If they are modified, the resulting
document cannot be called the ISTC. However, the uses to which the ISTC will be put are
entirely dependent on local situations and circumstances and on identified local problems. Because of the way in which the ISTC was developed and the international endorsement it has received, the document is broadly credible across categories of practitioners. This credibility is a major strength of the ISTC and should be capitalized upon in
its utilization.
Given that public health authorities are responsible for normative functions, surveillance,
monitoring, evaluation and reporting, NTP directors are generally quite aware of the weak
areas in their programs and of the specific problems that need to be addressed. Thus, the
initiative for using the ISTC generally, although not always, comes from the NTP. In some
settings, however, use of the ISTC may be prompted by private-sector providers or organizations, particularly professional societies. It is important to note that the NTP or local
programs, depending on the organization of services, must either already be in compliance with the ISTC or willing to make the necessary changes to be in compliance. As will
be described below, utilization of the ISTC need not always be undertaken at the national
level. The document is applicable at sub-national levels, and even within a single facility.

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MAKING USE OF THE ISTC

11

Initial Steps in Using the ISTC


Planning
Prior to developing activities based on the ISTC, the NTP must have a sound understanding of the individual standards and be willing and able to be in compliance with the standards. This likely will require internal assessment of capacity, planning and development
of specific strategies to address the standards. For example, if the goal is to involve the
private sector more effectively, the NTP must be willing to adjust and accommodate,
where necessary, to the needs of private providers.
Developing a plan is essential to clarify the roles and responsibilities of NTP staff and nonNTP healthcare providers in using the ISTC effectively, and for monitoring the process. For
systematic and sustainable development of ISTC-based activities, having an ISTC focal
person at a senior level in the NTP is valuable. This person may also be responsible for
coordinating PPM activities and should be advised and guided by a steering group such
as an ISTC/PPM task force with representatives from major provider groups and other
stakeholders.

Formulation of Objectives
If the ISTC activity plan entails a variety of approaches in-country, the objectives should
be developed based on the findings from the ISTC feasibility analysis exercise described
below. Planned ISTC activities should be clearly linked with the identified gaps to be filled.
Overall objectives should also be formulated in relation to national tuberculosis control objectives and targets as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Objectives
may be defined with regard to process, outcome, and impact indicators.

Translation
Not surprisingly, a critical requirement for utilization is that the ISTC be translated into a
language the intended audience understands. This is more difficult than it seems. Seemingly subtle changes can cause a drastic change in the perceived meaning of a given
standard. Ideally the document should be translated by a person who is bilingual in English and the desired language, and has knowledge of tuberculosis. Although it increases
the work, there should be a back translation as well, to ensure that the true meaning is
preserved. The ISTC has been translated from English into several languages including
French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Khmer, and Bahasa Indonesian (Figure
1). PDF files of the translated versions are available at www.istcweb.org.

12

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

F IGU RE 1 .

The ISTC translated into Spanish, French, and Vietnamese

N O R M A S I N T E R N A C I O N A L E S PA R A L A

S TA N D A R D S I N T E R N AT I O N A U X P O U R L E

Asistencia
Antituberculosa

Traitement
de la Tuberculose

DIAGNSTICO

DIAGNOSTIC

TRATAMIENTO

SALUD PBLICA

TRAITEMENT

SANT PUBLIQUE

Incentives for Participation

Obtaining
endorsements by
influential local
organizations,
including
governments and
professional
societies, serves as
a way of obtaining
buy-in and
commitment to the
principles in the
ISTC.

A range of factors affect the ability and motivation of providers of all types to participate in
ISTC activities. Incentives and enablers, if well designed, can overcome some of the motivational barriers. They are used not only to attract care providers and ensure their continued involvement, but also to enhance their performance. A common notion has been
that private care providers may not be interested in collaboration without adequate and
direct financial compensation. Financial compensation may be necessary for providers
who manage a large number of tuberculosis suspects and cases. However, evidence
shows that individual private practitioners who have few tuberculosis patients at any time,
and voluntary organizations providing tuberculosis care may find in-kind, non-monetary
incentives sufficient to enter into collaboration with NTP. Some examples of non-monetary
incentives include: access to free tuberculosis drugs, an opportunity to serve society
through free care for the poor, access to free training and continuing education, free microscopy services, opportunity to deliver high-quality services, recognition due to formal
association with a government program, and the potential to expand business as a result
thereof.

Seeking and Obtaining Local Endorsements


Obtaining endorsements by influential local organizations, including governments and
professional societies, serves as a way of obtaining buy-in and commitment to the principles in the ISTC. Moreover, the influence of the ISTC is amplified with each endorsement
received, and local endorsement paves the way for further ISTC-related activities, as described subsequently.
The endorsement process is usually initiated by the NTP, although professional societies
or institutions, on their own initiative, may begin the process. Simply by undertaking the
process of endorsement, collaboration may be established between the NTP and the pro-

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MAKING USE OF THE ISTC

13

posed endorser(s). The process of endorsement usually requires initial discussions between the NTP or local public health authorities and the organization considering endorsement. This is generally followed by a review of the ISTC by a committee appointed
by the endorsing organization. A presentation by an outside authority may be useful to
move the process along. It is also very helpful to have either an organization or an individual serve as a champion for the endorsement and to be the focal point for organizing
endorsements (see Indonesia profile).
The endorsement process usually includes the following:

A meeting or workshop with leaders and key stakeholders from each of the professional societies. Depending on the circumstances, this activity may be led by an
organization (in Indonesia, the pulmonology society took the lead) or an influential
individual.

A review of the professional societys current involvement in tuberculosis care and


control.

A presentation of the background of the ISTC, explaining how it was developed, its
intended uses, how it differs from other guidelines, and its content.

Formal endorsement from each professional society by asking the representatives to


sign a letter, often drafted in advance.

Commonly during the discussions, there is some degree of disagreement with certain elements of the standards. For this reason, it is useful to have available, as a resource person, someone who is familiar with the development of the standard in question and the
evidence backing the standard.
Most of the questions that arise have arisen and been addressed in the development of
the standard. It is important to make the point that in developing the ISTC, there was extensive discussion within the steering committee, and subsequently there was broad general input, so the ISTC has been thoroughly vetted by experts. As noted above, the ISTC
cannot be changed to accommodate local circumstances or practices and still be called
the ISTC. In writing the ISTC, care was taken to be sufficiently generic that most variations
in practice were encompassed. However, where valid practices exist that seem to be or
are at variance with the ISTC, an annex or annexes can be written to explain the local
practice. This may be the case in areas, such as Mexico, where the standards in the ISTC
are exceeded. In such situations, however, the basic framework for tuberculosis care described in the ISTC will still serve as the point of departure for the discussion and should
still be endorsed.
It is useful to point out that the ISTC should be viewed as a platform, the floor upon which
additional tuberculosis care and control measures can be built. Conversely, in situations
in which one or more of the individual standards arent being met, the approach should
be to analyze the reasons and to suggest solutions to overcoming the barriers to compliance with the full ISTC. Ideally, at the end of the process, representatives of the professional societies present will sign a formal letter of endorsement (Figure 2). Once a society
or institution signs a letter of endorsement, they are encouraged to have their logo printed
on the national version of the ISTC in order to increase local ownership.

14

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

F IGU RE 2 .

Professional
societies and their
leaders are often
important members
of the private
medical community,
have direct access
to a large number
of practicing
clinicians, and have
influence that
extends beyond
their membership.

Endorsement letters from professional societies in Indonesia

Using the ISTC to Mobilize Professional


Societies
A primary application of the ISTC is as a tool to unify approaches to diagnosis and treatment between the public and private sectors, especially in countries in which there is a
strong private sector. Professional societies and their leaders are often influential members of the private medical community, have direct access to a large number of practicing
clinicians, and have influence that extends beyond their membership. Generally, organized medicine has not been especially collaborative with public health programs, and in
some instances (all too commonly), societies and their members have been antagonistic
to tuberculosis control programs. However, in some settings, professional societies are a
powerful ally of NTPs. Generally, these societies will include the national medical association, a pulmonology society, a pediatric society, an organization of general medicine practitioners, and an infectious diseases or microbiology society. The societies often include
academic physicians who are influential in their own right.
As described, the ISTC was developed with considerable professional society input by a
group of organizations that included a respected professional and scientific society, the
American Thoracic Society (ATS). Moreover, the document has been endorsed by a number of societies that were not involved in its development. For these reasons, the ISTC has
credibility in the eyes of professional societies and can be used to open the doors to these
organizations.
Societies may be national or local and many are bothnational with state or local chapters. These societies can provide a convenient doorway, and sometimes the only way to
access the private sector is by systematically utilizing society journals, newsletters and
other communications. In some countries, professional societies serve as a regulatory
body with regard to physician licensing and certification. Related to this, in some coun-

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15

The ISTC can serve


as a means to
focus on common
goals and
objectives and can
provide a
framework for
addressing and
improving the
quality of care
delivered by private
providers.

tries societies often organize and conduct continuing medical education courses that are
required for licensing. In addition, if properly utilized, the physician members of a professional society could greatly and productively expand the clinician workforce (as described
in the India profile). Thus, there are a number of areas in which collaboration between tuberculosis control programs and professional societies would be beneficial.
As noted above, endorsement by national professional societies greatly enhances the
credibility of the ISTC and can be used as the first step in mobilization. Strategic thinking
needs to be applied in determining the reasons for seeking professional society support,
but the ISTC can serve as a means to identify and focus on common goals and objectives
and can provide a framework for addressing and improving the quality of care delivered
by private providers. A mechanism to accomplish the goals might be an in-country network of professional societies that will collaborate with the NTP. As an example, in India a
network of six professional societies came together and formed the Indian Medical Professional Associations Coalition against Tuberculosis (IMPACT) under the sponsorship of
the Indian Medical Association. They have received funding from the Global Fund and are
hosting meetings and scaling up efforts rapidly (see India profile).
The second example is from Kenya, where the Kenya Association for the Prevention of
Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (KAPTLD) hosted a two-day professional society mobilization workshop, the outcome of which was a letter of endorsement signed by four medical professional societies, one national public institution, two
international public institutions, four medical training institutions, one national hospital, and individual private healthcare providers. The Kenyan example also illustrates the
fact that while professional societies are valuable allies, institutions and practitioners can also act as
powerful supporters and endorsers of the ISTC
(see Kenya profile).

Private DOTS provider with patient

16

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Using the ISTC for Feasibility Analysis


Because each of the major components of tuberculosis care is included in the ISTC, the
standards provide a broad framework for a systematic feasibility analysis of local capabilities, and can serve as a vehicle for addressing any shortcomings. Conceptually, the
ISTC feasibility analysis is a way for programs and providers to take stock of the standards that are or are not being met in their country; practically, the feasibility analysis consists of two tools, one a general ISTC Feasibility Matrix and the other a more specific
Needs Assessment Matrix by Category of Provider (described below).
Usually, the ISTC feasibility analysis will be organized by the NTP. However, a local public
health department, professional society or institution may also take responsibility for developing the analysis. It may, in fact, be useful if a nongovernment institution or organization takes on the task. This both indicates and fosters a stronger sense of ownership on
the part of the organizing group.

Because each of
the major
components of
tuberculosis care is
included in the
ISTC, the standards
provide a broad
framework for a
systematic
feasibility analysis
of local capabilities,
and can serve as a
vehicle for
addressing any
shortcomings.

In undertaking the analysis, it is essential that the NTP be willing to acknowledge its shortcomings as they relate to the failure to comply with a given standard and to make every
effort to incorporate the changes that are identified as being necessary for compliance.
Moreover, it may be necessary for the tuberculosis program to make accommodations to
enable other categories of providers to be in compliance with the ISTC. For example, this
may entail developing more user-friendly mechanisms for reporting, facilitating access to
laboratories, and providing treatment supervision for private patients.
There are a number of factors that determine the location, structure and focus of the feasibility analysis. These are as follows:

Level at which the Analysis Is to Be Performed


The ISTC feasibility analysis can be applied at any level in the health system, national,
state/provincial, district, or individual institutional level. The level at which the analysis is
performed depends in part on the organization and funding of tuberculosis services. For
example in Indonesia, while the national program is responsible for guidance, surveillance,
and reporting, programs are implemented and funded at the provincial level. Consequently, it was decided to conduct the analysis at the provincial level. Conducting the analysis
at a national level can provide an overall mapping and assessment of tuberculosis services across the country; this can be useful for general NTP planning purposes, for informing
policy makers, and for advocacy efforts. Conducting the analysis at a district or local level may enable those participating to discuss more specific problems and to devise more
specific solutions; for example, if the problem is limited access to laboratories, specific
sharing of resources can be suggested. Within an individual institution, the ISTC may be
used to assess the availability and quality of essential tuberculosis services provided by
the institution and by the clinicians practicing within the institution.

The Epidemiologic Context


Once the level at which the analysis is to be conduct is decided, the next step is to identify and determine the priority areas to assess. This will depend somewhat on the epidemiologic context of tuberculosis in the country, the ways in which services are provided,
and the strengths and weaknesses of current tuberculosis care and control. For example,
one might consider areas or populations in which there is a high incidence of tuberculosis

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17

(e.g., urban areas, slums, prisons, and specific hotspots in the country), or an area in
which comorbidities, such as HIV/AIDS are common. For example, if HIV infection is prevalent in the country, considering how TB/HIV services are delivered should be taken into
account in organizing the analysis.

Mix of Healthcare Providers and Facilities


Patients with symptoms of tuberculosis seek care from a broad array of healthcare providers and facilities (Table 2), depending upon availability, acceptability, costs, and other
factors. This provider mix varies across and within countries. Almost every healthcare provider in any setting can potentially contribute to tuberculosis control by undertaking one
or more of the several essential tasks of identifying, referring, diagnosing, managing, and
notifying tuberculosis cases. In structuring the ISTC feasibility analysis, it is important to
take the categories of providers into account, because there may be (likely will be) differences in approach and performance, and thus in the shortcomings and problems identified. Identification of providers and facilities is described in Engaging All Health Care Providers in TB Control (PPM Guidance Document)14. Additionally, the National Situation
Analysis Tool (NSA) developed by WHO that is designed to examine the role of the private sector in tuberculosis care can be used to provide more detailed information about
the provider mix in a given area. Both the NSA and the PPM Guidance Document are
valuable resources for conducting the ISTC feasibility analysis.

TABL E 2 .

Some categories of healthcare providers and facilities that


deliver tuberculosis services

Public healthcare providers

18

Private healthcare providers

General hospitals

Private hospitals and clinics

Specialty hospitals and academic institutions

Corporate health services

Health institutions under state insurance


schemes

NGO hospitals and clinics

Individual private physicians, nurses, midwives,


clinical officers, etc.

Health facilities under government


corporations and ministries

Pharmacies and drug shops

Prison health facilities

Practitioners of traditional medicine

Military health facilities

Informal, non-qualified practitioners

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Conducting the ISTC feasibility analysis should include the following steps:

Identify stakeholders and convene a workshop at the national, district, or


local level.
Stakeholders participating in the workshop should represent the tuberculosis program
and various categories of healthcare providers, ideally at least one person from each
of the most common settings where patients with tuberculosis seek care.

Review each standard to determine whether or not each category of healthcare provider is in compliance.
Because some of the standards have many elements, discuss each standard in detail
and identify the resources and skills that must be available to meet the standard. Identify the areas where the standard is or is not being met.

Identify obstacles / constraints to implementation by each standard and by


category of healthcare provider.
Identify the specific shortcomings that prevent the standard from being met, and list
the barriers to being able to meet the standard.

Suggest achievable solutions by provider category for each standard.


Propose solutions. Whether there is a need for additional training, increased laboratory capacity, or a new referral network, proposing specific and achievable solutions is
the key to this exercise. There will be gaps in most health systems, yet a specific discussion about ways in which each category of health provider can address and fill that
gap is a vital step.

Synthesize the results of this analysis into a work plan for implementation of
the ISTC.
This feasibility analysis will become the basis of a work plan with the goal of being in
full compliance with the ISTC. This work plan can be used in conjunction with existing/
complimentary planning tools (for example, the WHO/TBTCA Planning and Budgeting
Tool, which is a program planning tool that details the components and costs of specific interventions and initiatives in tuberculosis control).

ISTC Feasibility Analysis Matrix


The conceptual framework for conducting the feasibility analysis is a matrix in which each
of the standards occupies a row and each of the columns describes the current status of
compliance with the standard. This generic tool is shown in Figure 3. The goal is to review
each standard and determine if it is being complied with and if not, what the barriers and
possible solutions might be to achieve compliance.

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19

F IGU RE 3 :

General ISTC feasibility analysis matrix

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE


Done
( yes / no )

If no, why not?

Feasible?
( yes / no )

Explain feasibility

Standards for Diagnosis


Standard 1: Productive cough 2-3 weeks should be
evaluated.
Standard 2: At least 2 and preferably 3 sputum specimens
obtained. At least 1 early morning.
Standard 3: For suspected extrapulmonary TB, specimens
from suspected sites should be obtained for microscopy,
culture, histopathology.
Standard 4: Chest x-ray findings suggestive of TB should
have sputum specimens examined.
Standard 5: Diagnosis of sputum smear negative: at least 3
negative smears; positive chest x-ray; and lack of response to
broad spectrum antibiotics.
Standard 6: Diagnosis of intrathoracic TB in symptomatic
children with negative sputum smears should be based on
chest x-ray abnormalities consistent with TB and history of
exposure to infectious case or evidence of TB infection.
Standards for Treatment
Standard 7: Practitioner must prescribe appropriate regimen
and be capable of assessing adherence.
Standard 8: All patients including HIV+ who have not been
treated previously should receive accepted 1st line treatment
regimen.
Standard 9: Patient centered approach to administration of
drug treatment.
Standard 10: All patients should be monitored for response
to therapy: 2 specimens at completion of initial phase, at 5
months, and at end of treatment. Extrapulmonary and child
cases best assessed clinically.
Standard 11: Written record of all meds, bacteriologic
response, and adverse reactions should be maintained.
Standard 12: In HIV prevalent areas, HIV counseling and
testing is indicated for all TB patients. In areas with lower HIV
prevalence, testing is indicated for TB patients with symptoms
and/signs/risk factors for HIV.
Standard 13: All patients with TB and HIV should be
evaluated to determine if ARV is indicated during course of TB
treatment.
Standard 14: Assessment of likelihood of drug resistance
based on history of prior treatment, exposure to drug resistant
organisms, and community prevalence of drug resistance,
should be obtained for all patients.
Standard 15: Patients with drug resistant TB should be
treated with specialized regiments containing 2nd line drugs.
At least 4 effective drugs should be used and treatment
continued for at least 18 months.
Standards for Public Health Responsibilities
Standard 16: All care providers for TB patients should
evaluate contacts. Children and HIV+ contacts should be
evaluated for latent infection and active disease.
Standard 17: All providers must report new and retreatment
TB cases and their outcomes to local public health
authorities.
* The text here is not the full Standard, rather a reminder of the content of the Standard. Please refer to ISTC document for exact standards.

20

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

ISTC Needs Assessment Matrix


The second step is a more in-depth ISTC needs assessment that involves examining
each standard individually to determine whether it is being done by each category of
healthcare providers, and if that standard is not being done, to propose solutions to meet
the needs.
Figure 4 is a matrix presenting the conceptual framework used to examine compliance
with each standard by each category of healthcare provider. In this approach, each standard has its own matrix. Electronic versions of these forms can be downloaded from
www.istcweb.org and adapted to local context.

F IGU RE 4 .

ISTC needs assessment matrix by category of provider


STANDARD # ______
Category of provider

Status
Health Clinics

Public Hospitals

Teaching Hospitals

Private Hospitals

Private Clinics

Private Providers

Being done

Not being done

Reasons why this Standard is not being done (identification of problems or obstacles):

Steps needed to comply with this Standard (proposed solutions):

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MAKING USE OF THE ISTC

21

Quality and Performance Assessment


The individual standards within the ISTC can be utilized to measure the quality of tuberculosis services delivered by any provider or program. A major purpose of the ISTC is to improve the quality of tuberculosis care. Any or all of the standards may be used as tools for
monitoring and evaluation of quality. Such assessments, just as with the feasibility analysis, can identify weaknesses in programs, institutions or individual providers. Tailored interventions can then be employed to correct the weaknesses and improve quality. Used in this manner, the standards provide an objective, standardized,
reproducible metric. The information thus gained can be used, for example,
to define certified DOTS providers or hospitals, to determine adequacy of
care for payment purposes by insurance companies or government agencies, or to compare programs within a country (provincial programs, for
example) or between/among countries, thereby creating a sense of
competition and incentive to improve performance.

Indonesian workshop
participant presenting
results from feasibility
analysis exercise

Monitoring and evaluation data derived from the standards can be collected continuously or periodically. All or only a selected number of the
standards may be used. Standards that are seen as being especially
important in a given setting may be evaluated repeatedly until performance is determined to be satisfactory. For some of the standards, the
data necessary for evaluation can be obtained from routine data sources,
such as patients medical records. For other standards, tailored data abstraction will be necessary. A suggested approach and guides for using the ISTC to measure quality and performance are under development.

ISTC as an Advocacy Tool


The individual
standards within the
ISTC can be utilized
to measure the
quality of
tuberculosis
services delivered
by any provider or
program.

Political commitment is a critical component of the DOTS strategy, and its absence limits
DOTS implementation. There has been considerable success in bringing high-level government attention and commitment to tuberculosis control since lack of political commitment was first identified as a constraint to global tuberculosis control in 1998. However,
in most countries at all levels of government, there has been a failure to translate this highlevel political commitment into effective, country-level public policies that provide a framework for sustained tuberculosis control programs and activities.
Advocacy refers to activities intended to place tuberculosis control before opinion leaders
and policy makers and on the public policy and political agenda in order to build political
will and increase available financial resources. Advocacy can be applied at any level of
governmentnational, regional or local. In general, advocacy aims to ensure governmentsnational, regional or localremain committed to tuberculosis control.
The ISTC provides a set of internationally recognized standards any government should
seek to meet. In using the ISTC feasibility analysis tools, NTPs can identify gaps in meeting the standards, providing a powerful advocacy tool to seek improved tuberculosis care
and control. There should be two objectives for mobilizing partners:

22

First, resource mobilizationby defining the essential components for tuberculosis


control, the results of the ISTC feasibility analysis can be used to provide a set of
recommendations for securing broad community support for increased resources for

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

By defining the
essential
components for
tuberculosis control,
the results of the
ISTC feasibility
analysis can be
used to provide a
set of
recommendations
for securing broad
community support
for increased
resources for
tuberculosis care
and control.

tuberculosis care and control. The WHO/TBCTA Budgeting and Planning Tool can be
used to provide detailed budgetary analyses to determine the necessary resources to
implement each recommendation.

Second, NTPs should also consider using the results of the ISTC feasibility analysis
to develop strategies for the development, review, and revision of guidelines, public
policies, regulations or laws to address any gaps or shortcomings identified. (See the
WHO publication, Good Practice in Legislation and Regulations for TB Control: Tuberculosis Legislation and Regulation). 17

Engaging Patients and Communities


Empowering patients with TB and communities is a specific component in the Global
Strategy to Stop TB. The ISTC relates to this component in two ways:

First, because the ISTC is backed by an international consensus and it describes


agreed upon elements of tuberculosis care that should be available everywhere,
patients worldwide should expect that their care is in compliance with the ISTC. The
ISTC, thus, provides patients with the backing they need to insist that they receive
high-quality care. Similarly, communities should expect that the care provided within
their boundaries meets the standards, and thus is of high quality.

Second, the Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care was developed in tandem with
the ISTC with the intent that they would be complimentary documents. The Charter
relies on the ISTC as its technical support. The Charter is a revolutionary document,
at least insofar as it relates to patients with tuberculosis. It describes both patients
rights, but equally important, patients responsibilities are also described. Implicit in
both the statements of patients rights and their responsibilities is that they will receive care that is in conformance with the ISTC. Patients awareness of and support for the ISTC and the Charter can be used to provide leverage in dealings
with policy makers and funding agencies, empowering them to be effective
advocates for high-quality tuberculosis care.

Minister of Health, Kerala


State, India receiving a
copy of the Patients
Charter in the local
language from a patient

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MAKING USE OF THE ISTC

23

Training of private providers


organized by the IMA in
Kerala, India

Training on the ISTC


ISTC-based Training Modules
The ISTC is being used as the content for a variety of training materials (Table 4). The core
of the materials is the series of ISTC training modules, based on the individual standards,
to be disseminated widely for training as well as educational activities conducted by NTPs,
professional societies, medical schools, and other relevant organizations. The modules
are a flexible and locally adaptable series of training presentations. Delivered together, the
modules can be formed into a two-and-a-half to three day, instructor-led course. Alternatively, modules can be presented separately as individual, hour-long, half-day, or daylong, instructor-led courses.
The primary group of target learners for the ISTC training modules is practicing physicians, but the modules may also be tailored for use with nurses and other healthcare personnel, as well as for pre-service training of nursing and medical students and clinical officers. In addition, professional societies, as one of their regular functions, commonly
present continuing medical education (or continuous professional development) courses
for practicing physicians. The ISTC training modules can be used for this kind of continuing medical education, and potentially for accreditation as well. Each training module has
exam questions at the end, and therefore can be linked to certification of participants.

Country Examples of Training Activities


In ISTC pilot project sites, training activities utilizing the ISTC have been developed based
on a variety of factors. In India, the ISTC was included in training materials developed for
ongoing CME courses by the Indian Medical Association, with the goal of training accredited DOTS providers within the private sector. Twenty-eight courses for approximately
1,000 private providers were held in 200607. The program is being expanded to six
states in 2008, with funding through a Global Fund grant. In Tanzania, the potential for us-

24

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

ISTC presentation at
Hasan Sadikin Hospital in
Bandung, West Java,
Indonesia

ing the ISTC as the basis for training prompted a review and revision of tuberculosis-training curricula for medical students in all of the medical schools in the country. The review
also included NTLP guidelines and manuals, to ensure consistency of the training with
NTLP norms. The intent is to use the ISTC as the basis for a standardized approach to
medical student training throughout the country. It is also planned that the ISTC will serve
as the basis for training in nursing and clinical officers schools.
Multiple courses based on the ISTC have been conducted in Indonesia. These have been
organized and presented largely by the Indonesian Pulmonary Society. In addition, there
have been presentations at a number of medical schools and hospitals. It is planned that
the Indonesian Medical Association will use ISTC-based training materials in their continuing professional development courses.

TABL E 4 :

ISTC training materials

Modules include:

PowerPoint slide presentations

Teaching notes

Facilitators guide

Case studies

Testing questions and tools for evaluation

Aside from using the ISTC training modules for traditional, instructor-led courses, stakeholders are encouraged to be creative in their use of the ISTC materials and information.
For example, in Kenya, the KAPTLD created TB message of the month cards (see Figure 5). Each card has one of the standards from the ISTC printed on it, along with key
points related to tuberculosis care and that specific standard. The cards are put in individual healthcare providers hospital mailboxes. Providers are, thus, introduced to the
standards one at a time and, it is thought, will be more likely to focus on each standard
individually due to the discrete amount of information. The project has begun and will be

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25

scaled up to reach more healthcare providers during the next year. This is an innovative
approach to increase awareness of the standards in a format that is easy to access and
facilitates widespread distribution.

F IGU RE 5 .

TB message of the month card from Kenya

Approaches to Training
Planning for ISTC utilization, as noted previously, should include a training plan that describes how the planned trainings are linked to or integrated with other NTP activities.
Broadly, the training plan should include the following steps:

Determine training content for different providers, including NTP staff, based on a
training-needs analysis in relation to the specific standard(s).

Adapt training methods and materials to local context and the providers different
characteristics and working conditions.

Devise a structure for follow-up after training, which is linked to ongoing program or
institutional supervision activities.

Periodically revise training materials, course design, and plans based on evaluations.

Training materials and methods need to be suitably adapted to special needs and working conditions of different types of providers. For example, it may not be reasonable to
expect a busy private practitioner to attend a training course for several days.
It is also important to identify and use suitable trainers. To illustrate, heads of large hospitals
or medical colleges may be influenced most effectively through information, training, and
encouragement by senior-level MOH/NTP staff. Individual qualified providers may be
briefed by medical officers within the NTP, while non-physicians may be comfortable interacting with field-level staff. A common observation has been that the involvement of senior officials within the NTP and well-known local and national experts in the private sector
as trainers helps considerably to improve the credibility and acceptance of the training.

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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Certification for Training


As described previously, the ISTC can be used as a metric for the quality of care. In addition to using an ISTC-based assessment of quality to provide certification criteria, certification can be achieved through completion of specific training courses. Thus, certification
can be used as an incentive that will allow a practitioner to advertise that she or he is a
certified provider of high-quality tuberculosis services.
The certification process may be informal initially and may gradually evolve into a formal,
standardized procedure. Periodic evaluation of the system of certification as well as that
of the criteria used for it should be undertaken. Recertification should be required at regular intervals.

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27

International
workshop with
ISTC leaders from
pilot countries

Early Experiences with Utilization


As stated in the acknowledgments section, guidance for using the ISTC is based largely
on experience gained in five countries: India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and Tanzania. Directors of the national tuberculosis programs in these countries, together with private sector collaborators, agreed to use the ISTC to address particular situations or problems encountered in their countries and to document their experiences. Perhaps the most
important lesson learned from the pilot countries is that there is no substitute for in-country experience. The following section details early experience, work plans, and lessons
learned from each of these countries.

Mexico
India

Kenya
Tanzania

28

Indonesia

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Kenya
The Context

The focus of ISTC


activities in Kenya is
to use the
document as a
vehicle to unify
approaches to
diagnosis and
treatment of
tuberculosis in the
private and public
sectors and to
improve
collaboration
between the two
sectors.

Kenya ranks tenth in the world in the annual number of tuberculosis cases. During the last
two decades, the incidence of tuberculosis has increased significantly, in large part due to
the concurrent HIV epidemic. Tuberculosis case notification rates increased from 57 per
100,000 in 1987 to 329 per 100,000 in 2006. The incidence of tuberculosis increased at
an average of 1216% annually from the early 1990s until 2004, when the annual increase
dramatically slowed. The annual average increase has reduced to approximately 8% in
the last two years.
Despite the very large burden of tuberculosis, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the notified cases represent only approximately 50% of the incident cases of
tuberculosis. The estimated case detection rate (CDR) has remained static for more than
a decade, although a recent review of Kenyas tuberculosis data suggests that the CDR
may currently be slightly more than 60%. The treatment outcomes for notified cases have
also remained static at about 80% for more than a decade. Kenyas tuberculosis control
efforts have, to date, not been able to achieve the recommended tuberculosis control targets of detecting at least 70% of incident cases and treating successfully 85% of the detected cases. Unless there is a substantial intensification of efforts, Kenya may miss the
Stop TB targets of halving the prevalence and deaths due to tuberculosis by 2015.
The National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Program (NLTP) in Kenya has identified the engagement of all care providers, as outlined in the new Stop TB Strategy recommended by
the WHO, as a high-priority activity. Kenya has been one of the pioneering countries in
implementing Public-Private Mix (PPM) initiatives. These early PPM experiences and the
established infrastructure serve as a springboard for exploring ways of using the ISTC in
Kenya.
Many healthcare provider groups in Kenya have their own professional associations, including the Kenya Medical Association, Kenya Association of Physicians, Kenya Clinical
Officers Association, and Nursing Association of Kenya. The Kenya Association for the
Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (KAPTLD) is a nongovernmental organization active in tuberculosis control, with membership from both public and private sectors.
KAPTLD has been at the forefront of initiating and scaling up both PPM DOTS implementation, and the ISTC implementation.

Rationale
Kenya has a significant private health sector, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas
and, increasingly, in rural areas. Working together, the KAPTLD and the NLTP have been
innovative in implementing Public-Private Mix (PPM) initiatives. Prior to the PPM implementation, a health systems assessment of tuberculosis care delivery in Kenya found that
61% of all health facilities in the country were dispensaries run by the public sector, and
approximately one third of the health facilities were in the private sector. The assessment
also showed that while 40% of individuals suspected of having tuberculosis sought care
initially from a public dispensary, fewer than 15% of the dispensaries were engaged in
DOTS implementation. Moreover, middle-level private practitioners were the first contact
for care of a substantial proportion of the urban population. When Kenya started the PPM
initiative in 2000, the goals were to standardize treatment in the private sector to prevent

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emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis, to obtain data on the burden of tuberculosis


managed by the private sector, and to decongest overflowing public sector tuberculosis
clinics by increasing utilization of private sector facilities.
To address these problems, the early PPM work began with the launch of a project to engage private chest physicians in tuberculosis control in 2000 under the auspices of the
KAPTLD. A description of these experiences can be found in the WHO document Engaging all Care Providers in TB Control.14 These early PPM initiatives are relevant because the
ISTC pilot utilization experiences have built on these pre-existing efforts and were instigated by the same leaders of KAPTLD and the NLTP.
The focus of ISTC activities in Kenya is to use the document as a vehicle to unify approaches to diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in the private and public sectors and
to improve collaboration between the two sectors. As a tool to foster effective private sector involvement in tuberculosis care, the ISTC has the potential to increase tuberculosis
case notification and detection, to improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes, and to decrease the emergence and dissemination of drug-resistant tuberculosis, including MDR
and XDR tuberculosis. In the case of Kenya, it was logical to use the ISTC as a mechanism for strengthening and enlarging upon the existing collaboration between the NLTP
and KAPTLD and to develop a strong network of professional societies.
In addition to engaging with and working through the professional societies, the other primary use of the ISTC in Kenya will be to develop more standardized educational activities.
The bulk of primary care in Kenya is provided by clinical officers and nurses. Pre-service
training of these providers has not changed for decades and varies substantially among
schools. A similar situation prevails at the medical colleges. At least in part because of
their pre-service training, private healthcare providers approaches to tuberculosis care
and prevention are variable, and there is general neglect of public health tasks by these
providers. Because the evidence base for the ISTC is compelling enough for academicians to embrace, it is being used to develop new and novel training approaches for both
pre- and in-service healthcare providers.

Practical Experience in Country


Between June 2006 and July 2007, four ISTC planning and implementation meetings
were convened in Kenya. The ISTC implementation initiative is being led jointly by KAPTLD
and the NLTP, with primary coordination by the KAPTLD. The initial meeting was intended
to introduce key stakeholders representing select medical associations and all three medical colleges in the country to the ISTC and to discuss ways the ISTC could be used to
improve tuberculosis care in Kenya. This meeting consisted of didactic presentations, introducing the approach and rationale for developing the ISTC, and describing the content
of the document. Those attending were able to ask questions about the ISTC and to air
their concerns and disagreements with individual standards in discussions with the ISTC
team. They also presented their ideas about how the ISTC could be used in the Kenyan
context. It was agreed during this meeting that the ISTC will be used to drive existing and
further expand PPM activities, as well as provide the basis for curriculum development.
In two subsequent meetings, the group of stakeholders was enlarged and plans for a larger ISTC Endorsement Meeting were developed. The two-day-long endorsement meeting was held at a conference center outside of Nairobi so that the full attention of the attendees would be on the ISTC. The meeting was funded by a pharmaceutical company

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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Participants from Professional


Society Mobilization Workshop
in Naivasha, Kenya

that provides some support to KAPTLD. The meeting included key stakeholders representing the following organizations and institutions:

Ministry of Health National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Program (MOH-NLTP)

Kenya Medical Association (KMA)

Kenya Pediatrics Association (KPA)

Kenya Association of Physicians (KAP)

Kenya Clinical Officers Association (KCOA)

Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC)

Aga Khan University

University of Nairobi

Moi University

Kenyatta National Hospital

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kenya

World Health Organization Kenya

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

Kenya Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (KAPTLD)

During the two day meeting, representatives from the various institutions presented data
on the current state of tuberculosis care in Kenya, with a focus on the activities of the
NLTP, the role of the professional societies in tuberculosis care, and the substantively
challenging areas, such as the co-epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and the concern with drug-resistant tuberculosis. These presentations provided a landscape of the
current status and challenges of tuberculosis care in Kenya. This enabled participants to
take stock of the current situation and to discuss potential areas for improvement. There
were also discussions as to how the ISTC may best be used as a tool in Kenya. At the

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conclusion of the meeting, the attendees signed a statement on behalf of their organizations and institutions that reads as follows:
On Tuesday, 3rd July 2007, we the undersigned, having attended a
sensitization workshop in which the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) were presented and extensively discussed; in
recognition of the strategic role that the ISTC can play in the care and
prevention of tuberculosis in Kenya, do hereby endorse the ISTC for implementation in Kenya.
This document now can serve as a powerful tool in Kenya. At least in principle, the represented organizations and institutions are now committed to utilization of the ISTC within
their settings to improve tuberculosis care. The second outcome of this endorsement
meeting was the development of a work plan consisting of five primary activities for utilization of the ISTC.

The Kenya Work Plan

Dr. J. Chakaya leaving


ISTC meeting at the
NLTP, Nairobi, Kenya

32

Develop a Kenyanized version of the ISTC


A group will review the ISTC and modify the presentation to be representative of the Kenyan context. Specifically, the photographs will be changed so they reflect tuberculosis
care and patients in Kenya, and the logos of all the Kenyan endorsing agencies will be
added to foster local and national support and ownership of this international document. It was agreed that the phrasing of the individual standards would not be changed,
as they were rigorously developed and have been endorsed by a broad international
consensus. The country-specific version may include annexes that refer to specific topics, such as the TB-HIV co-epidemic or drug resistance that may be more relevant or
need additional explanation in the country context. The goal in the first year is to print
and distribute approximately 40,000 copies of the Kenya version of the document.

Media campaign and ISTC accreditation


A media campaign for the purpose of establishing accreditation on the ISTC will be
developed. Billboards displaying the Kenyanized ISTC will be placed at clinics to advertise the fact that these clinics have received training and are in conformance with

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

the ISTC. These clinics would then be routinely checked to ensure that they continue
practicing in line with the ISTC and serve as pilot sites for the monitoring and evaluation of ISTC implementation.

Print and distribute ISTC standards in the form of TB Message of the Month cards
This is an innovative approach to increase the readability of the ISTC and to facilitate
widespread distribution. Each card has one of the 17 standards from the ISTC printed
on it along with key points related to tuberculosis care and to that specific standard.
The cards will be distributed at regular intervals to individual healthcare providers.
They are, thus, introduced to the standards one at a time and it is thought, will be more
likely to focus on the specific message. The project has begun and will be scaled up
to reach more healthcare providers during the next year.

Conduct continuous professional development meetings to promote the ISTC


These meetings will be convened to present the ISTC and promote understanding of
its contents and uses throughout the country. The planned approach includes having
one full-day meeting in each province (11 in total) every year. In addition, dissemination
of the ISTC will be facilitated by having symposia at the annual scientific conferences
of the Kenya Association of Physicians, the Kenya Pediatric Association, the Nursing
Association of Kenya, and the Kenya Clinical Officers Association. These meetings provide a conduit for introducing the ISTC to broader audiences in Kenya as well as for fostering the engagement of professional societies in taking up endorsement of the ISTC.

Develop a monitoring and evaluation strategy to assess the impact of implementing the ISTC
Assessing the impact of these activities specifically, and ISTC implementation in Kenya
in general, is imperative. The findings will guide future projects, and ideally can be used
to lobby for additional funding for successful initiatives.

Lessons Learned

Active support, promotion, and guidance by the NLTP is crucial.

There needs to be a preliminary idea of the problems that can potentially be addressed by
using the ISTC and the approaches to be taken to generate the necessary commitment.

Having individual and organizational champions is critical.

Knowledge of the potential local stakeholders and of local politics is essential.

Persistence and consistency is required.

Although the individual standards in the ISTC were developed by a rigorous process,
it is important to hear and answer questions from potential stakeholders and to take
the local context into account in the answers.

For the above reasons, it is important that there be a resource person who is familiar
with the ISTC and its evidence base present when the ISTC is discussed by groups.

Formal endorsement of the ISTC by relevant groups is an important early step, but
may require considerable discussion.

As a way of generating support, a sequential approach to organizations and institutions after developing a core of influential supporters is useful.

A work plan with specific activities is the goal of the first phase of the ISTC project.

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Tanzania
The Context
The United Republic of Tanzania ranks fourteenth in the world in the annual number of tuberculosis cases. During the last two decades, the incidence of tuberculosis has increased more than four-fold. Treatment success has slowly increased toward the World
Health Organization (WHO) global target of 85 percent through improved quality of services. Of the 64,200 new tuberculosis cases notified in 2005, 25,264 were sputum smearpositive (SS+). However, the detection rate for new SS+ tuberculosis cases remains low
at 45 percent, well below the WHO global target of 70 percent.

Because the ISTC


was recently
developed and
includes an
evidence base
making it
acceptable to
academicians, it
presents a
mechanism for both
modernizing and
standardizing
tuberculosis
training.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a major factor contributing to the increase of tuberculosis in


Tanzania. It has been estimated that HIV/AIDS accounts for a 60% increase in tuberculosis incidence. Approximately 60% of tuberculosis patients are co-infected with HIV; the
prevalence of HIV infection in the population aged 15-49 years is estimated to be 7.9%.

Rationale
Tanzania has had a head start in the process of utilizing the ISTC as the NTLP program
manager, Dr. S. Egwaga, was a member of the committee that developed the ISTC. The
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has already adopted the ISTC by incorporating it into
the National Tuberculosis Control Guidelines. Moreover, the ISTC came at an opportune
time when the delivery of services for tuberculosis was evolving beyond the public sector.
Traditionally, health services in Tanzania have been provided mainly by the public sector.
More recently, however, there is an increasing private sector involvement. With this shift,
there is increasing involvement of private practitioners in providing diagnostic and treatment services for tuberculosis. It has been estimated that 10% of all tuberculosis cases
are notified by the private sector. The government has expressed a willingness to support
private providers in the control of tuberculosis through Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) funding. Explicitly stated in the GFATM proposal were new initiatives to involve all healthcare providers, especially in the private sector. An important concern with this approach, however, is that the preparation of medical students and other
allied healthcare workers such as clinical officers, nurses and others for an increased role
in tuberculosis care once they graduate was insufficient. Consequently, it was the wish of
the Program Manager of the NTLP that the ISTC be used to begin a process for standardizing tuberculosis training in the medical schools in Tanzania as well as in the training of
allied healthcare personnel. It was felt that by addressing pre-service training in medical
schools and allied healthcare training programs, clinicians working in the private sector as
well as those in the public sector would be better equipped to take on an increased role
in providing tuberculosis services in an effective collaboration with the NTLP. In addition,
the standardization of training in tuberculosis in the countrys five medical schools could
serve as a platform for a similar unification of approach within the nursing schools and the
schools in which clinical officers are trained.
Given the strength of the training institutions in Tanzania, it was decided the best approach would be to work with the medical schools and focus on updating and improving
the pre-service training in tuberculosis. The rationale was simple: medical schools in Tanzania are training the future decision makers, policy makers, and many of the private care
providers in the country; therefore, making the information in the ISTC accessible and fa-

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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

miliar to them will have long-term impact. In these discussions, it was also recognized that the tuberculosis
content in current pre-service training, in large part, is
neither standardized among the schools nor is it in
conformance with the ISTC. Because the ISTC was
recently developed and includes an evidence base
making it acceptable to academicians, it presents a
mechanism for both modernizing and standardizing
tuberculosis training. The intent is that this approach
will have a more sustained impact than other training
approaches such as in-service training. In addition, inservice trainings take significant time and resources to
organize, as compared to pre-service training.
Dr. S. Egwaga, NTLP Program
Manager addressing members
of ISTC consensus meeting,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Practical Experience in Country


In the one-year period between June 2006 and July 2007, four ISTC planning and implementation meetings were convened in Tanzania. An initial meeting to discuss strategy
with the NTLP Program Manager was held in June 2006. Possible uses of the ISTC and
general goals of implementation were discussed.
Four approaches to dissemination of the ISTC were suggested:
1. To develop a curriculum, drawing on the ISTC, for medical doctors in training based
initially at Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) in Dar es Salaam.
The intent was to utilize the strengths and influence of Muhimbili to lead the development of a unified approach to training among the countrys medical schools.
2. To develop a curriculum, drawing on the ISTC, for clinical officers, nurses, and the
paramedical workers (the workforce that sees 80-90% of the tuberculosis cases).
3. To use the ISTC to enhance the TB/HIV activities in the private sector, working with
current efforts led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
4. To work with professional organizations, using the ISTC as a tool for advocacy.
The idea of using the ISTC to engage the private sector was discussed; however, the
general consensus was that in Tanzania, the professional societies do not influence
doctors very much. Therefore, they would not be the best target for these initial ISTC
activities. An adapted version of the ISTC tailored to the Tanzanian context, however,
could be presented at meetings to raise awareness in this cadre of providers and for
advocacy purposes.
The NTLP Manager discussed this idea with academic leaders at MUCHS. They agreed
that a curriculum revision was desirable and that they would take the lead. They agreed
with the NTLP Manager that ownership by the academic institutions was highly desirable. As the premiere medical school in the country, MUCHS, was tasked to take the lead.
A core working group was formed and representatives were selected from the departments of internal medicine, pediatrics, and continuing medical education to assess current tuberculosis training, revise and develop a curriculum, pilot test, and devise ways of
evaluating the intervention.

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On September 11, 2006, a consensus meeting involving all but one of the medical schools
in Tanzania, as well as representatives from other schools and institutions, was held. Participating institutions included:
Medical Training Institutions:

Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS), Dar es Salaam

Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Dar es Salaam

Bugando University College of Health Sciences (BUCHS), Mwanza

Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College (KCM-College) a constituent College of


Tumaini University, Moshi

International Medical and Technology University (IMTU), Dar es Salaam

Mbeya Referral Hospital (MRH), Mbeya

Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT)


Associations of Private Health Facilities (APHTA)
National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR)
National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program (NTLP)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Allied Health Science Unit of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare targeting:

Assistant Medical Officers Training Institutions

Clinical Officers Training Institutions

Nursing Training Institutions

This was the first meeting ever held in Tanzania where the medical schools came together to discuss ways of reforming and standardizing medical education for any single topic.
The primary agenda of the meeting was a discussion of approaches to updating tuberculosis curriculum nationally. After preliminary background presentations, discussion focused on the structure of tuberculosis training and utilization of the ISTC. There was an
active exchange of ideas and sharing of how each school approaches curriculum development.
Some concern about curricular restructuring was raised and the fact that changing the
curriculum is a massive job as well as adding hours into an existing curriculum. Yet there
was an overarching agreement that curricula should not be static, and there is an obligation and need to prioritize what is being taught based on medical breadth and given the
context of health and disease in the country. There was also agreement that the ISTC
would serve as the foundation for the curriculum improvement.
The participants agreed that the goal of this task will not be an entirely new curriculum on
tuberculosis, but rather an updating of pieces that already exist in the curriculum and filling the gaps in what is being taughti.e., to focus on the course content of tuberculosis

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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

subject matter, and to incorporate into the tuberculosis course contents. The first steps
were to conduct basic needs assessment focused on:

The tuberculosis curricula, with focus on the course content of all the different
schools

The existing NTLP guidelines

The ISTC in light of the Tanzanian context

The HIV/AIDS curricula

On July 6, 2007, a follow-up meeting was convened at MUCHS that again brought together academic representatives from the four medical schools and other healthcare providers from NTLP and Allied Health Sciences (MOHSW), Muhimbili National Hospital,
National Institute for Medical Research, Kibongoto National Tuberculosis Hospital, International Training and Education Center on HIV/AIDS (I-TECH) Tanzania, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), as well as colleagues from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS). During deliberations
at this meeting, all members once again agreed unanimously that improving the tuberculosis course content and incorporating ISTC is very important and would go a long way
for upgrading the quality of care offered to patients in the country.
A Core Working Group to develop a Generic TB Training Module for Tanzania was formed,
and based on the needs assessment, a draft document of the proposed revised course
content for tuberculosis subject matter (i.e., the Generic TB Training Module for Tanzania)
would be developed by September 2007. Drafts of the generic ISTC training materials being developed at USCF were provided to the group for their review. It was also agreed that
there would be processes for updating the pre-service medical curricula and the allied
health services training materials.
In addition to using the ISTC as a focus for medical school and allied health schools curricula development, other ISTC implementation activities have been taking place simultaneously throughout Tanzania under the supervision of NTLP. These include:

Regional and district tuberculosis coordinators were oriented to the contents of the
ISTC.

The NTLP conducted several in-service training workshops for healthcare providers
where the ISTC was included in the curriculum.

The ISTC document was printed and distributed to all tuberculosis coordinators in the
country, and they are using the ISTC in in-service training workshops.

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The Tanzania Work Plan


The following is a list of activities proposed to be undertaken to facilitate the process of
incorporation of the ISTC into the teaching agenda of medical schools and allied health
sciences in Tanzania and the subsequent implementation.

ACTIVITY

DATES

OUTCOME / GOAL

First consensus building one-day workshop


held at MUCHS

Held September 11, 2006

Outcome: Consensus was that ISTC should


be incorporated into the teaching agenda of
medical and allied health sciences schools

Follow-up one-day workshop to review


progress

July 6, 2007

Outcome: Consolidated consensus position


and broadened scope of attendees NIMR,
Kibongoto

A 6-day workshop of Core Group and I-TECH

September 10 15, 2007

Outcome: Development and adaptation of


the ISTC into a generic TB course contents
module

Draft and disseminate a workshop report and


generic TB course contents to all
stakeholders

October 2007

Goal: To cultivate understanding and broader


acceptance of developed TB course contents
by CEOs of medical institutions

One-day sensitization and dissemination


workshop to a broad audience
administrators of medical schools

End of November 2007

Goal: To develop broader acceptance and


have input from decision makers of medical
institutions

Refine generic TB course contents module


and print

End of December 2007

Goal: To finalize the generic TB course


content module and make available

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation

January December, 2008

Goal: To review lessons learned, constraints


and provide feed-back every 3 months

The Core Working Group (composed of representatives of the main medical schools,
NTLP and Allied Health Unit Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and I-TECH Tanzania)
had a workshop in Kibaha, Tanzania from September 1015, 2007. During the workshop,
it was decided that the Generic TB Training Module for Tanzania should consist of the following distinct parts:

A Facilitator Guide that would be used by the medical schools as standardized


course content of the Generic Modules that would incorporate the ISTC, harmonized
with the most recent NTLP Guidelines and TB/HIV collaborative activities.
A draft of the Facilitator Guide was developed during the Kibaha workshop.
The Facilitator Guide clearly outlines the aims of the Generic TB Training Module for
Tanzania, the objectives to be attained by the students after undertaking the sessions,
and a concise course outline as well as PowerPoint presentations. The contents of the
ISTC, the NTLP Guidelines, and the TB/HIV Collaborative activities have been incorporated into the Facilitator Guide.
A draft Generic Facilitator Guide would be presented to a much larger audience of
stakeholders drawn from the decision makers of the different medical schools and key
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare representatives, as well as development partners
such as WHO, toward the end of 2007. The presentation of the draft Generic Facilita-

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tor Guide to the stakeholders would provide an opportunity to have further input and
critical appraisal, which should enhance refinement of the document and also should
help to foster wider acceptance and ownership.

A Learners Guide that would be developed at a later date will be used by the students when the tuberculosis course contents are taught.

Detailed Course Contents for the Generic TB Training Module for Tanzania will also
be developed.

The NTLP, in collaboration with I-TECH Tanzania, some members of the Core Working
Group and PATH, will continue to pursue the work of refining the Facilitator Guide and
also to initiate work on the development of the Learners Guide and detailed Course
Contents that are part of the complete Generic TB Training Module for Tanzania.
During the next year, the work of adapting and standardizing the set of training materials
for tuberculosis care and control based on ISTC will be finalized for all medical schools in
Tanzania. The standardized training set of materials will also be adapted to the training of
other cadres of healthcare providers, especially the allied healthcare providers.

Lessons Learned

Leadership from the NTLP is essential to identify the needs that could be addressed
by the ISTC and to define the approach using the document.

In using the ISTC for medical student training, ownership by the medical school faculty is highly desirable.

Concerns and questions about the individual standards must be aired and addressed
with those who will be using the ISTC. In-country experts should be created.

The development process for the ISTC and the evidence base it presents make it acceptable and appealing to academicians, and thus, an appropriate focus for training.

Prior to beginning, it is important to identify and collaborate with other curriculum development efforts in country.

The efforts should effectively engage the HIV community and to work with HIV/AIDS
personnel to ensure that the TB-HIV educational modules are consistent and complimentary with HIV training materials.

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Mexico
The Context
According to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2007, Mexico had 24,255 tuberculosis
cases in 2005, with an estimated incidence rate of 23 cases per 100,000 people. The National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) began implementing DOTS in selected demonstration areas in 1996, and according to WHO estimates, DOTS population coverage has
reached 100 percent.

Once the ISTC has


been adapted and
disseminated
through the NTP,
ongoing
assessment of use
and practices
related to ISTC will
take place as part
of routine program
supervision.

Unlike other ISTC pilot countries, Mexico is not one of the 22 identified high-burden countries with tuberculosis. The NTP has successfully kept the incidence rates of tuberculosis
relatively low. Despite these successes, however, tuberculosis is a public health problem
in Mexico and remains of great interest to the United States, given the shared borders and
immigration flow between the two countries. In fact, according to the 2006 United States
tuberculosis data from the National Tuberculosis Surveillance System, the tuberculosis
rate among foreign-born persons in the US was 9.5 times that of US-born persons, and
Mexico was reported as the most frequent country of origin of foreign-born tuberculosis
cases in the United States.18

Rationale
The Mexican Health System is decentralized; the federal level dictates the regulations as
national health regulations (Normas de Salud) that are formulated and reviewed in collaboration with a wide range of academics and stakeholders. However, each state is relatively independent in the management, priority setting and allocation of resources.
The majority of formal workers are affiliated with public provider institutions. The private
sector provides services to a small minority of the population and is difficult to quantify.
Services are usually paid at the point of delivery and only approximately 4% of the population has a private health insurance.
The NTP is a department of the Centro Nacional de Vigilancia Epidemiologica (CENAVE)
of the Secretaria de Salud (SSA). It consists of a central office at federal level providing
stewardship, leadership, planning, training, supervision, monitoring and evaluation functions cascaded to state level through state TB coordinators (Responsable del Programa
de TB del Estado) in each state and epidemiological monitoring by state epidemiologists.
Collaboration with multiple stakeholders is deeply ingrained in the NTP. Since its development, the NTP has been working closely with other public and semi-public organizations;
more recently there has been a movement towards involving academic departments, private associations and other stakeholders. The launch of Stop TB Mexico in 2004 identified the potential of collaboration with another broader variety of stakeholders; to date up
to 20 states have developed their own Stop TB partnerships with local tuberculosis ambassadors from many different backgrounds.
All tuberculosis services, including laboratory services, are provided free of charge. All
public sector providers collaborate with the tuberculosis program of the SSA in virtually all
tuberculosis control activities except for extramural activities (defaulters and contacts
tracing).
The participation of the different stakeholders and the academic departments in the de-

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HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

velopment and actualization of the tuberculosis control regulations (Normas Nacionales) ensures that all these entities
will cooperate in the implementation of the guidelines.
Once agreed, National Norms are legal requirements
and the different stakeholders must obey them. Although there are contractual arrangements or written
agreements with some of the public providers outside
the SSA, the majority of collaborative activities are understood as the normal development of the program
and lack such agreements. As a result, many collaborative activities between the Tuberculosis Program
and public and semi-public organizations are not formalized through any kind of agreement (memorandum
of understandingMOU, or contractual arrangements).
ISTC stakeholders meeting,
Mexico City, Mexico

The majority of private providers are subscribed to professional colleges or medical associations. This is now more
relevant since doctors need to be recertified every five years and a way to do so is through
the demonstration of continuous professional development through their attendance in
courses and colleges activities. The NTP collaborates with certain medical colleges and
associations, although on an ad hoc basis.

Practical Experience in Country


In November 2006, a stakeholders meeting was convened in Mexico City. Participants included physicians and nurses from public and private sectors, radiologists, pediatricians,
and infectious disease specialists. There was considerable discussion and debate about
the differences between the ISTC and the Mexican Normas. In order to solve this issue,
the discussion was directed to determine which standards are already covered by the
Mexican Normas, and which standards should be considered in the future revision of the
Mexican Normas. There was also interest in producing a Mexican Standards for Tuberculosis Care based on the ISTC.
Mexico, compared with the other countries where the ISTC has been piloted, is unique in
that the burden of tuberculosis is much lower, and the national program already has very
detailed Normas for tuberculosis care and control. The challenge in pilot testing the
ISTC in Mexico was determining how best to implement and endorse the ISTC alongside
the current set of Normas without providing too many materials or any contradictory information. It was noted that many of the standards outlined in the ISTC document are already included in the official Mexican Norms for the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis, with slight differences. The proposed solution was to adapt the ISTC to the Mexican
context by developing Mexican Standards that will be endorsed by both public and private sectors and will serve as the core material for tuberculosis trainings. This adaptation
included changes in the general aspect of the document: (i.e., using photos that reflect
the Mexican culture, environment and language). There was also interest in creating a
document with standards of care for special situations such as management of pediatric
tuberculosis, extrapulmonary tuberculosis or tuberculosis in pregnant women. Also, there
were comments regarding the inclusion of standards to increase and guarantee compliance to treatment. Once the Mexican Standards are produced, they are planning to have
a pocket-sized book.

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In order to start using the ISTC in Mexico, a committee of experts from different public and
private institutions (including academic Institutions) was formed. During three meetings
(from January to August 2007), they discussed the adaptation of the ISTC to Mexico. A
fourth meeting held on September 19, 2007 was dedicated to reviewing the final document of the Mexican version of the ISTC, which was endorsed by all the institutions involved in the committee. This group has also planned pilot studies for the use of the ISTC
in private and public institutions to be used for tuberculosis patient care, as well as in
nursing and medical schools for the use of the ISTC as teaching material. They have also
discussed adapting the generic educational materials to disseminate the content of the
ISTC in Mexico.

The Mexico Work Plan


The first stage of ISTC implementation in Mexico will be adapting the standards to the
Mexican context and disseminating the materials for local adoption. The following steps
have been proposed:

42

Create a review committee composed of the NTP and identified partners


This committee will be tasked with reviewing the contents of the ISTC and comparing
them with the Mexican Normas. Areas for further clarification will be identified and
raised for discussion with a larger committee. The committee will also identify areas
where the ISTC can be expanded upon in order to be more relevant to the Mexican
context.

Develop an annex to the ISTC in accordance with committee recommendations


This annex will describe how the ISTC can be adapted to the Mexican context. Using
the ISTC as the platform and template, a separate document, the Mexican Standards
for Tuberculosis Care, will be developed.

Pilot the Mexican Standards for Tuberculosis Care with public, private and
academic institutions
The piloting of the Mexican Standards will be conducted in the public sector in two
Mexican states at the jurisdiction level, including all local health units. Piloting will be
conducted in the private sector through hospital and professional associations. The
specific associations are yet to be determined. Finally, the Mexican Standards will be
piloted in the academic setting at two national level and four state level universities or
academic institutions. Piloting will include disseminating the new materials and conducting trainings based on the Mexican Standards.

Train NTP network of health practitioners and coordinators, as well as other


public and private sector partners in adapted standards
Training sessions will be held as part of the pilot testing phase (in the public, private,
and academic setting). The generic ISTC training modules will also be adapted to the
Mexican context and used for these training sessions. Specific sessions to train trainers will be held initially. All materials will be translated into Spanish.

Disseminate Mexican Standards for Tuberculosis Care


The goal of disseminating the Mexican Standards will be to reach all care providers in
all states over the next year. Five thousand copies will be reprinted in Mexico.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

Once the ISTC have been adapted and disseminated through the NTP, ongoing assessment of use and practices related to ISTC will take place as part of routine program supervision. Future evaluations may be appropriate to determine the impact of the ISTC on
field practice.

Lessons Learned

Active support, promotion, and guidance by the NTP is crucial.

Knowledge of the potential local stakeholders and of local politics is essential.

Persistence and consistency is required.

Although the individual standards in the ISTC were developed by a rigorous process,
it is important to hear and answer questions from potential stakeholders and to take
the local context into account in the answers.

Formal endorsement of the ISTC by relevant groups is an important early step, but
may require considerable discussion.

As a way of generating support, a sequential approach to organizations and institutions after developing a core of influential supporters is useful.

A work plan with specific activities is the goal of the first phase of the ISTC project.

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EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZATION - MEXICO

43

India
The Context

Both the IMA and


RNTCP readily
endorsed the ISTC
and are strong
advocates across
the country. The full
text of the ISTC is
printed in the
RNTCP Training
Module for Medical
Practitioners, and
both the IMA and
RNTCP have put
their logos on the
ISTC that is being
reproduced and
distributed through
trainings.

India has the highest global burden of tuberculosis in the world, with approximately 2.2
million new cases per year. The country also has the largest documented private medical
sector. The private health providers are a heterogeneous, largely independent group and
include those qualified in the Western and indigenous systems of medicine as well as
non-qualified practitioners. Several studies have documented inappropriate tuberculosis
management practices in the private sector. Anti-tuberculosis drugs are available on prescription in the private retail market and it is not difficult to obtain anti-tuberculosis drugs
without a prescription. Unlike the situation in many sub-Saharan African countries, at
present, approximately 5% of new tuberculosis cases in India occur in people with HIV
co-infection.
Since 1993, the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) has been implementing a well-functioning DOTS program that currently covers almost all parts of the
country through its extensive public health sector network. Beside the private sector,
there are other public sector healthcare institutions in the country that manage significant
numbers of tuberculosis cases.

Rationale
India has been a pioneer in Public-Private Mix (PPM) initiatives. During the past ten years,
several projects have been launched in different parts of India implemented by NGOs, local medical associations, academic institutions and the local RNTCP. There are many examples cited in the PPM Guidance Document. Drawing upon initial experience of productive collaborations with diverse types of providers, the RNTCP has developed national
guidelines to involve NGOs and private practitioners in DOTS implementation.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is the largest professional association in India and
represents the general and specialist practitioners trained in Western medicine. The IMA
is the largest NGO in the health sector. Its membership includes approximately 1,650,000
medical practitioners. IMA has a three-tier structure. IMA Headquarters is situated in the
national capital of Delhi. There are 27 state branches, six territorial branches and 1,600
local branches. There is IMA outreach even in remote areas. Membership in the IMA is
voluntary, and despite its breadth, less than half of the eligible private practitioners are
members of IMA. Nongovernmental organizations providing primary health services also
have a large presence in India. The RNTCP and the IMA both have well-organized tuberculosis programs; therefore collaborating with both organizations in implementing the
ISTC was a logical step.
An article from the Indian Express on Aug 12, 2007, highlights the collaborative efforts between the RNTCP and the IMA:
Private practitioners are all set to give a push to the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) across the country. The Indian Medical
Association (IMA) has tied up with the Central TB Division in its endeavor to
eradicate tuberculosis, which remains one of the leading causes of death of
nearly two million people every year across the globe. The TB division will receive a grant of Rs 18 crore from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria.

44

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

left: Indian families, Agra, India

Dr L S Chauhan, Deputy Director General of Central TB Division, said that a


right: Map of Kerala State,
India, initial site of PPM/ISTC
pilot projects

(MoU) was signed between the Government and the private practitioners for
a period of five years. During these 5 years, 50,000 doctors are expected to
offer Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) across five states
and a Union territory. These are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh.
Dr Asokan, IMAs National Coordinator for TB, said the project aims to bring
public and private providers, who would work together in combating the
scourge of tuberculosis, under one umbrella. The IMA has a wide base and
a network of private medical practitioners (PPs) has the potential to penetrate
NGOs, the corporate sector, medical colleges etc. Recognizing the role
played by the NGOs and the private practitioners in spreading awareness
within the community and realizing that many patients seek treatment from
them, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare brought out guidelines to involve NGOs and private practitioners under various schemes in 1999 and
2002. Sadly, there were not many takers. However, there seems to be a renewed vigor this time around as the IMA has decided to carry out intensified
activities in the chosen areas to promote RNTCP.

Working with the IMA and the RNTCP and well-established private and public organizations to disseminate the ISTC made the most sense in a country as populous as India. As
stated in the newspaper article, the IMA acts as an umbrella organization, capturing both
public and private care providers. The IMAs National Coordinator for tuberculosis is a
dedicated leader who was on the Steering Committee that developed the ISTC, a champion of the ISTC process, and works in tandem with the program director of the RNTCP,
who is also a valuable member of the ISTC Steering Committee.

Practical Experiences in Country


Both the IMA and RNTCP readily endorsed the ISTC and are strong advocates across the
country. The full text of the ISTC is printed in the RNTCP Training Module for Medical
Practitioners, and both the IMA and RNTCP have put their logos on the ISTC that is being
reproduced and distributed through trainings.

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EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZATION - INDIA

45

The ISTC has been successfully integrated into routine and


widely distributed training materials. The activities and
trainings that are being planned and held include: national level workshops, state level workshops, and district
level training programs. Once these training programs
reach the local level, the goal is that the private practitioners adopt RNTCP and declare themselves DOTS
centers and the IMA facilitates monitoring and supervision of private providers.

ISTC presentation at IMA


meeting, Kerala, India

The southern state of Kerala has led the way in implementing ISTC. The Kerala Phase II Project has the objective of consolidating the partnership of the IMA and
the Kerala state government in the RNTCP, and to achieve a synergistic relationship with
the public health sector in all districts in the state. The overall goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of tuberculosis and to cut the chain of transmission of infection in Kerala. The expected outcomes of the project are: 1) to improved access to RNTCP-DOTS
in general; 2) to increase the number of patients put on DOTS, especially those from the
poorer urban and rural communities; and 3) to document a sustainable model of publicprivate mix in the RNTCP which can be replicated in other sector collaborations, as well
as for other health programs of state and national importance. The project has the following components: a) reorientation of already trained doctors in every district; b) training of
a new batch of doctors in every district; c) coordination with district and state authorities;
and d) documentation of the process. Stakeholders include the government, WHO, IMA,
healthcare providers (especially those from the private sector), and patient communities,
family and the general population. Overall, this project has served as an excellent model
of bringing together a variety of stakeholders and engaging tuberculosis care providers at
the local level. The ISTC document is a central piece of the training sessions.
Thus far, the Phase II of the project has hosted 14 training sessions and 28 CME sessions
in 2006-07. 1,139 private doctors have been trained in Kerala Phase I and II (2007). The
Kerala Government also endorses the Patients Charter.
There has been substantial progress in ISTC implementation in India. Training based on
the ISTC has been developed and the standards have been widely disseminated. A number of editorials and articles have been published in Indian journals and by Indian authors
discussing the role and uses of the ISTC.1921 This kind of distribution is a valuable way to
spread the word to other healthcare providers and academics who may not have had the
opportunity or impetus to attend a training where the ISTC is explicitly taught. In addition,
25,000 copies of a Lancet Infectious Disease paper on the ISTC1 were purchased and
distributed by a pharmaceutical company in India.
There has also been significant mobilization of professional societies and private healthcare providers. A meeting was held in New Delhi on World TB Day 2007, bringing together representatives from a number of private and public medical associations. The outcome of this meeting was the genesis of a new network, referred to as the Indian Medical
Professional Associations Coalition against Tuberculosis (IMPACT). Organizations in IMPACT included: Indian Medical Association, Association of Physicians of India, Indian
Chest Society, National College of Chest Physicians (India), Indian Academy of Pediatrics,
and Federation of Family Physicians Associations of India. A second meeting of IMPACT
has also been held in Delhi. All the constituents have agreed in principle to work together
for tuberculosis control and endorse ISTC.

46

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

The India Work Plan


The ISTC is poised to be used in six states under a Global Fund project. The IMA plan of
action at the state level includes the following activities:

State workshop for IMA leaders on the ISTC


There is a need to sensitize the IMA leaders in each state regarding the dimension of
the tuberculosis menace and the need for private sector participation. The state workshop brings together state level and district level IMA leaders with state level and district level RNTCP officials. This is an important step, bringing both together so that the
ownership of the effort is shared equally.

Sensitization of district leaders


Motivated state/district IMA leaders go back to their districts to hold district-level sensitization meetings for IMA leaders from local branches in the district (from individual
towns). A single district may have as many as eight-nine IMA branches.

Peer sensitization
Peer sensitization is the most crucial step. Motivated local branch IMA leaders act as
RNTCP ambassadors and sensitize private doctors one-to-one (peer sensitization).

District modular training


Sensitized private doctors are encouraged to attend the district-level training based on
the tuberculosis module approved by RNTCP (six hours). Private doctors are awarded
certificates. General practitioners, physicians, chest physicians, pediatricians and orthopedicians are the priority groups.

DOTS center recognition


Trained private doctors undertake to practice DOTs strategy and comply with the
ISTC. In India, the easiest way to comply with the ISTC is to join RNTCP. The clinics of
the private doctors are recognized as DOTs centers by the district RNTCP office.

Coordination with RNTCP


IMA plays a facilitating role in all the above steps and will continue to be a catalyst for
monitoring and supervision.

Lessons Learned

A strong public sector is mandatory for successful PPM. PPM can be sustained only
as a part of government initiative.

The barrier between public and private sectors can be bridged by a facilitating professional society.

The private sector is more than willing to participate in national health programs, given
mutual trust and equal respect.

Approaching the issue of tuberculosis control through the perspective of medical professions cuts across the public-private divide, the general practitioner-specialist divide, and the division amongst the heterogeneous providers within provider sectors.

The ISTC is a powerful tool to reach out to medical professionals.

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EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZATION - INDIA

47

Indonesia
The Context

Efforts in Indonesia
have been
successful in rapidly
disseminating the
ISTC, sensitizing
care providers to
the materials, and
seeking and
receiving
endorsements from
professional
societies.

Indonesia has the third highest burden of tuberculosis in the world. With a population of
close to 230 million, there were 532,871 new cases of tuberculosis reported in 2005. The
annual incidence of all forms of tuberculosis was 239 per 100,000 and the prevalence
was 262 per 100,000 in a 2004 prevalence survey. The prevalence of HIV remains relatively low; approximately 0.8% of tuberculosis cases are infected with HIV. It is estimated
that 1.6% of tuberculosis cases are multi-drug resistant.
In 1992, DOTS was first piloted in Sulawesi and, according to WHO, had expanded to
cover 98 percent of the country by 2005. Indonesia has met the 85 percent target for
DOTS treatment success. Detection of infectious tuberculosis cases has increased from
38 percent in 2003 to 53 percent in 2004. Preliminary data (not published) for 2005 shows
a significant increase to 67 percent.
Despite the successes of DOTS implementation, the practice of tuberculosis care among
physicians in Indonesia is variable. There is both over and under diagnosis, and over and
under treatment. A lingering challenge is the reliance on chest radiography and the widespread belief that it is the most important diagnostic tool. The use of sputum smear microscopy is often neglected, and non-standard diagnostic tests are gaining popularity (serology, PCR etc). An additional threat to basic tuberculosis control is the incorrect
prescribing and use of anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Rationale

Prof. Hadiarto, Dr. Nyoman,


and Dr. Basri at first ISTC
presentation to National TB
Congress, Jakarta, Indonesia

48

To be fully effective, tuberculosis care and control in Indonesia must involve health care
providers who have no connections to the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP). This involvement is essential because of the structure of health care in the country and the position of the NTP within the system. The NTP operates under the Directorate of Communicable Disease Control (CDC) and provides surveillance and normative functions: it has no
direct responsibility for clinical activities. Government-operated primary health centers
(puskesmas), under the Directorate of Community Services, provide the core of tuberculosis patient care activities and do so largely based on
NTP guidance. Government hospitals and associated clinics, under the Directorate of Medical
Services, also provide a substantial amount of
tuberculosis patient management but are
largely independent of the NTP and of the
puskesmas. Private facilities are completely independent. Health care, including
care for tuberculosis, is also provided by
prisons, the military and corporate entities, again with no connection to the
NTP. As a consequence of this organizational structure, and because of the
influence of private consultants working in both government and private hospitals and clinics, the NTP has little au-

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

thority or influence over diagnosis, treatment, reporting, and monitoring in the public and
private hospitals, in clinics attached to these hospitals or in private clinics and offices.
It is thought that a substantial amount of tuberculosis care is provided outside of the
puskesmas and, consequently, outside of the sphere of influence of the NTP. However,
there has been no comprehensive quantification of the numbers of patients who have tuberculosis diagnosed and treated in the private sector and in government hospitals and
clinics, except as a part of the tuberculosis prevalence survey conducted in 2004.
As shown in the table below, the majority of patients being treated for tuberculosis in two
of three large provinces had treatment initiated in facilities other than primary health centers. Of particular note, nearly 30% of prevalent patients in Java had treatment initiated by
private physicians.

I N I TI ATI ON OF TR E ATME N T
PROVINCES

HOSPITAL & CLINICS

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

PRIVATE PRACTITIONERS

SUMATRA

44%

43%

12%

KTI

31%

53%

16%

JAVA

49%

21%

29%

Although general practitioners constitute the largest number of providers, there are a large
number of specialist and sub-specialist physicians as well. Of particular note, pulmonologists general internists, and pediatricians are quite influential in the care of patients with
tuberculosis. A number of the sub-specialists, also have faculty appointments in the countrys medical schools and teaching hospitals and, consequently are in a position to influence the attitudes and practices of future physicians.
Medical Professional Societies are large, active and influential in tuberculosis care and
control in Indonesia. As the professional society that is most relevant to tuberculosis care
and control, the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) has been involved in supporting
the NTP since the DOTS Strategy was introduced in Indonesia by promoting the program
with other professional organizations, developing tuberculosis guidelines with the NTP,
developing tuberculosis curricula for medical schools, and conducting trainings for doctors, medical students on hospital DOTS linkage, MDR tuberculosis and the ISTC. Additionally, because of the size of its membership, the Indonesian Medical Association wields
considerable influence.
Despite the successes of DOTS implementation, a wide gap exists between the structure
and quality of tuberculosis services provided in the countrys primary care clinics (puskesmas) that adhere to NTP guidelines and other providers. Although there is a very active
hospital-DOTS linkage program in several regions of the country, services provided by
both government and private hospitals and private practitioners in most of the country do
not follow national guidelines and the quality of service in not known. Recognizing there is
an urgent need to bridge the gap between the NTP-guided services and those delivered
by other providers, the first priority for using the ISTC in Indonesia was to endorse and
distribute the ISTC among private physicians and government and private hospitals.

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EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZATION - INDONESIA

49

Practical Experience in Country


Efforts in Indonesia have been successful in rapidly disseminating the ISTC, sensitizing
care providers to the materials, and seeking and receiving endorsements from professional societies. The ISTC was first introduced at a preliminary meeting with the NTP, WHO
Indonesia and members of the PDPI in July 2005. A follow-up meeting with professional
societies was held later that month. Early in 2006, two meetings with the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) were held, the outcomes of which were endorsement from IDI, endorsement from six professional societies, and endorsements from the medical faculty of
the University of Indonesia and the Indonesian Nurses Association.
Following the initial endorsement meetings, activities to disseminate the ISTC materials
and acquaint practitioners with the contents were carried out at local PDPI branches and
at national conferences. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits were offered to the
medical faculties of more than six universities and at least four referral hospitals in different
cities.
The achievements from the preliminary sets of meetings for the ISTC implementation efforts include:
1. The ISTC has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia and is ready to be published.
2. A pocket-sized version with just the standards has been prepared and distributed.
3. Formal letters of endorsement have been signed by:

Indonesian Medical Association

Indonesian Society of Respirology

Indonesian Society of Internal Medicine

Indonesian Society of Pediatricians

Indonesian Society for Microbiology

Indonesian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Indonesian Nurses Association

Medical Faculty, University of Indonesia

4. The ISTC has been included as an attachment in: the Guidelines for National TB Control Programs, the Hospital DOTS Guidelines, the Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of TB in Hospitals, the TB Guidelines of Indonesian Society of Respirology, and
the Hospital Journal.
Taking the implementation process a step further, in March 2007 an ISTC Implementation
Workshop was held in Jakarta. The workshop was attended by IDI branch members, pulmonologists, internists, general practitioners, and provincial health officers from eight selected provinces. The primary goals of this workshop were to: 1) present a draft of the
ISTC feasibility analysis tools (the ISTC feasibility analysis matrix and the ISTC needs assessment matrix) and secure input on their design and format for field testing, and 2) to
develop revised drafts of the tools that could be used in the field to assess constraints to
full implementation of the ISTC at the provincial level.

50

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

This was the initial testing of the ISTC feasibility analysis


tools, and the experience at this workshop informed
their further development and refinement. In small
groups the workshop participants used the ISTC
needs assessment matrix to review each standard
and assess the gaps in tuberculosis services and to
suggest possible solutions to the identified problems. At the end of this day-long process, a representative from each small group presented the
groups findings to the larger group for further discussion and comments. To give a sense of the outcomes
of the workshop, some of the common shortcomings
identified through the feasibility analysis workshop were:
TB rounds at Persahabatan
Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia

Diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and drug therapy for children

Limited facilities for microbiology and histopathology examination, especially in the


private sector

Limited knowledge about HIV diagnosis and management

No regulations or rules for reporting tuberculosis cases in the private sectors to the
government

Over-reliance on chest radiography for diagnosis

The Indonesia Work Plan

Mass dissemination of the full translated version of the ISTC


The ISTC has been translated into Bahasa Indonesian, and the logos of all the Indonesian endorsing organizations and agencies will be added to this version of the document to foster local support and ownership. The goal is to print and distribute copies
of the ISTC across all the provinces of Indonesia and to have the Indonesian version
of the ISTC available at tuberculosis trainings nationally.

Form a national professional society working group


Many of the medical professional societies in Indonesia have officially endorsed the
ISTC. The next stage is to further harness and coordinate the efforts of these groups.
The IDI has agreed to lead this process. The first step is to develop terms of reference
for the working group. Activities to be carried out by the professional society working
group include disseminating the ISTC via professional journals; publishing editorials
about the ISTC and tuberculosis care in these journals; coordinating and developing
continuing education programs based on the ISTC; including the ISTC in scientific
meetings; and in collaboration with NTP, providing oversight to provincial assessment
and implementation of the ISTC.
In addition, the professional societies are often responsible for providing trainings for
continuing medical education (CME) certificates. Under the new Medical Practice Act
every doctor must renew his/her Practice Certificate every five years through CMEs
conducted by each Professional Collegium. The Indonesian Society of Respirology will
use the ISTC for these CME courses and the IDI and other professional organization
will use the ISTC to standardize their tuberculosis care and training.

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EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZATION - INDONESIA

51

Develop provincial ISTC working groups


Provincial working groups will be formed in collaboration with the national professional
society working group and will include members from these professional societies as
well as public health care providers from regional and local hospitals, clinics, and
NGOs. A core function of these provincial working groups will be to pilot test the ISTC
training materials and facilitator guides. It is envisioned that these provincial working
groups will also provide additional training and technical assistance to provincial facilitators, and take the lead on conducting the ISTC feasibility and needs assessment
analysis at the provincial level. The findings from the provincial feasibility analyses will
be used to develop more targeted provincial work plans and budgets to address the
identified gaps.

Lessons Learned

52

Active support, promotion, and guidance by the NTP is crucial.

Using the ISTC as a framework for conducting a situation analysis is useful to identify
gaps in and barriers to effective tuberculosis care and to identify possible ways of
improving care.

Although the individual standards in the ISTC were developed by a rigorous process,
it is important to hear and answer questions from potential stakeholders and to take
the local context into account in the answers.

Formal endorsement of the ISTC by relevant groups is an important early step, but
may require considerable discussion.

A work plan with specific activities at both national and provincial levels is the goal of
the first phase of the ISTC project.

HANDBOOK FOR USING THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR TUBERCULOSIS CARE

References
1.

Hopewell PC, Pai M. Tuberculosis, vulnerability, and access to quality care. JAMA 2005;293(22):2790-3.

2.

Uplekar M. Involving private health care providers in delivery of TB care: global strategy. Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2003;83(1-3):156-64.

3.

Uplekar M, Pathania V, Raviglione M. Private practitioners and public health: weak links in tuberculosis control. Lancet 2001;358(9285):912-6.

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World Health Organization. Involving private practitioners in tuberculosis control: issues, interventions, and emerging policy framework. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2001: 1-81.

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WWW. ISTC WEB .ORG

REFERENCES

53

w w w.na t iona lt bc e nt e r.e du


The Francis J. Curry National Tuberculosis Center is a joint project of the
San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California,
San Francisco, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention